Monday, 11 August 2014

The Road Not Taken

Strategy is fundamentally about choice. Unfortunately, every choice we make requires us to forego something else. This is the nature of tradeoffs and what make choice so difficult. This poem by Robert Frost captures the essence of that dilemma - notice also how Robert Frost draws out the importance of differentiating rather than following the crowd in the final couplet:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
Source
photo credit: Eric Vondy via photopin cc